In the public sector, it is becoming more common for exercise science professionals to join forces with the tactical community to incorporate injury management programs.
These programs are individualized and unique to a specific department or agency’s budget, resources, and or personnel experience/qualifications. Jabai Performance continues to drive education and program development throughout the tactical population through research collaborations with local departments. Earlier in the year, Jabai Performance partnered with the Health and Human Performance Department at Texas A&M University – Commerce (TAMUC) to conduct research and provide resources for a local fire department. Dr. Michael Oldham, of TAMUC, is the driving influence from the university staff to support and coordinate the use of exercise physiology resources for first responder research. The research being conducted by Mr. Jabai and Dr. Oldham investigates the impact that a 6-week strength and conditioning program has on the lumbar spine of full-time firefighters. TAMUC is responsible for technology use, procedure of assessment, and data collection; while Jabai Performance performs the strength and conditioning programming portion, conducts training interventions, and evaluates pre/post data comparisons. Although each entity has their own “role” within the study, the partnership involves assisting each other and providing an extra hand when something needs to be accomplished, a clear example of teamwork.
In order to continue data collection and increase participant count, the researchers expanded the study to include other departments.
Prior Research with Melissa Fire Department: City of Melissa Press Release
With the expansion of the research study, Hussien Jabai of Jabai Performance reached out to Chad Graves, Deputy Chief for A-Shift, of the Paris Fire Department to begin a collaborative partnership. The fire department showed immediate interest and went through the process of administration approval to begin the first steps in recruitment. From there, the recruitment process began with video calls for Mr. Jabai and Dr. Oldham to introduce themselves to the firefighters, explain the concepts of the study, answer any questions or concerns regarding the study, and explain the process of signing up to participate. Deputy Chief Graves assisted Mr. Jabai and Dr. Oldham further through coordinating the personnel participation, organizing for each station personnel to join meetings and attend assessment/training interventions, and relay information throughout the process.
After nearly a week post video call based recruitment, Mr. Jabai, Dr. Oldham, and TAMUC graduate research assistants traveled out to Paris Fire Department with the DARI System, a markerless movement capture software being utilized for the pre and post program assessments.
The Paris Fire Department consists of 3 stations, with approximately 50 personnel. Within each station, firefighters are divided into 3 different shifts on a 24 hr on/ 48 hr off shift schedule (A Shift, B Shift, C Shift). Due to assistance from staff and cooperation from participants, Dr. Oldham and the graduate research assistants were able to set up the movement capture system in the bay of Station 1 and have personnel from each station meet at one location for assessments. The entire assessment lasted approximately 10-15 minutes per personnel.
After all assessments utilizing DARI were complete, firefighters than began a training intervention with TSAC-F Instructor Hussien Jabai. Mr. Jabai explained the reasoning behind exercise selection, demonstrated each movement prescribed in the study, and corrected exercise technique for those needing assistance. Each participant went through the entire warm-up, movement prep, and workout while asking questions and addressing concerns. The training intervention is a vital factor in any training study, as that is where you “set the stage” or “tone” for the remainder of the prescription. For this study, participants will now complete the 6-weeks of strength and conditioning, then perform a post-assessment to evaluate the efficiency of the program.
View DARI Assessment and Training Intervention Highlight Reel Below
Currently, firefighters have begun Week 1 of the 6-week study. We will continue to update news reports and articles on the research as the program developments.